Originally created 06/14/06

Across the area



Store is robbed at knifepoint

A North Augusta convenience store was robbed at knifepoint early Tuesday public safety officials said.

At 12:44 a.m. , a man holding a large knife entered the Circle K at 226 Georgia Ave., told employee Afrika McCord, 30, to open the cash register and ordered employees Denise Nutt, 40, and Teresa Yeater, 45, to the floor, according to a North Augusta Department of Public Safety report.

The robber took about $50 and fled to an waiting vehicle, the report said. Aiken County bloodhounds were brought to the scene but could not find the suspect.

Silence follows talks on Brown festival

Augusta officials and James Brown Music Festival organizers met Tuesday in Mayor Deke Copenhaver's office to review events of the Memorial Day event.

The mayor, festival chairman Charles Walker Jr., three members of the festival committee, Augusta Commissioner Keith Brown, City Administrator Fred Russell, Sheriff Ronnie Strength and Recreation Department Director Tom Beck discussed the events that led to Mr. Walker's near-arrest over a dispute about paying deputies who provided security.

The general consensus of those present was that there would not be an official public statement about the meeting, Mr. Russell said.

Congress hears from Augusta fire official

An Augusta -Richmond County Fire Department official testified in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in front of a congressional subcommittee about steps the federal government should take to help prepare communities and first responders for railway disasters involving hazardous materials.

Battalion Chief Steven Bell went before the House Transportation Subcommittee on Railways at the invitation of U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., according to Mr. Barrow's press office.

The Augusta department's hazardous materials team, with other surrounding agencies, was called to help during the January 2005 Graniteville train disaster.

Chief Bell urged members of the subcommittee to invest in better training for local first responders, and to find a better way to make sure local emergency workers are notified about the potential of hazardous cargo before they respond to an accident.

Men take goods from home in Hephzibah

Three men with white T-shirts wrapped around their heads broke through the back door of a Hephzibah home and stole more than $800 in goods , a Richmond County sheriff's report said.

According to report, Justin Hroblak, 31, of the 1200 block of Berthound Pass, listed the following items as stolen: a Play Station 2, controllers for the game system, a flashlight, $200 in change and a Smith and Wesson.357-caliber pistol valued at $400.

The report says the suspects drove a light gray Nissan.

Girl, 17, charged with DUI after flipping SUV

A 17-year-old North Augusta girl was charged with drunken driving Tuesday after she was ejected from an SUV in an early morning crash, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The girl, whose name was not released by the South Carolina Highway Patrol, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital by EMS, said Lance Cpl. Scot Edgeworth.

According to Lance Cpl. Edgeworth, the teen was headed north on South Carolina Highway 125 about three miles south of North Augusta at about 1:45 a.m. when she lost control of the vehicle, which hit the guardrail on the right side and overturned in the road.

Police seek missing Graniteville woman

Aiken County sheriff's investigators are looking for a Graniteville woman they say got into an automobile with another person April 8 and has not been seen since.

Kelly M. Jones, 32, of the 100 block of Square Circle Road, is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 140 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

According to the sheriff's office, Ms. Jones has two children and has not contacted them in two months.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ms. Jones is asked to call Investigator Lynn Ghant at (800) 922-9709.

Lightning sparks fire at home in N. Augusta

A North Augusta home was destroyed Monday night when lightning struck the roof, a fire official said.

No one was home at the 1,800-square-foot house when it caught fire at about 8 p.m., said Belvedere Fire Chief Todd Durrance. It took firefighters from his station and Merriwether Fire Department about 45 minutes to extinguish the flames.

The home, in the 700 block of Five Notch Road, is "one house inside" Edgefield County, Chief Durrance said.

Police wait for tests in death of woman

Authorities said Tuesday they are waiting for test results to determine what killed a Windsor woman found dead on her front porch Monday.

Toxicology results are pending for Leanne M. Liebel, 39, of the 700 block of Oak Ridge Club Road.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday morning and found no obvious signs of foul play, according to Lt. Michael Frank, a spokesman for the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

A neighbor found Ms. Liebel dead on the porch. The door of her car , 60 to 70 feet away, was open.

Armed man wearing mask robs Food Lion

Police were investigating a Tuesday night armed robbery at a Washington Road grocery store.

At about 9 p.m., a masked man entered Food Lion, 2525 Washington Road, and forced a cashier to hand over money at gunpoint, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Brandon Beckman.

Employee Bobbi Elvington said the robber forced a handgun into her ribs, cocked the weapon and put it to her head. He forced her to try to unlock two cash registers before she placed money into the robber's personal bag.

Police were still seeking the robber as of late Tuesday, Investigator Beckman said.

Salvation Army assault under investigation

Richmond County sheriff's authorities were investigating a stabbing that occurred Tuesday night at the Salvation Army headquarters on Greene Street.

At about 9 p.m., police were notified of an argument and stabbing involving two homeless men, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Brandon Beckman.

Police were expecting to make an arrest by early today, Investigator Beckman said.

- From staff reports